I will conclude my prediction of the American League with the AL Central.
What can you say about the Minnesota Twins and Ron Gardenhire that hasn’t been said yet? Closer Joe Nathan may be out for the year, but you can never count out the Twinkies. The additions of Orlando Hudson, J.J. Hardy and Jim Thome will improve an already loaded line-up that includes Denard Span, Delmon Young, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, and Michael Cuddyer. They might not have many big names in their pithing staff but you can never count out the Minnesota Twins!
In the past eight months the White Sox improved in all three phases of the game. The additions of Omar Vizquel and Andruw Jones as back-ups to Alexei Ramirez and Alex Rios are good moves. I also like the move that brought Juan Pierre as a replacement to Scott Podsednik. J.J. Putz will come in to a very sub-par bullpen. Also, a full season with Jake Peavy can only help. I do believe that his numbers will drop as he is a fly-ball pitcher in a hitter’s park.
The Kansas City Royals may potentially have the best rotation on the game. It is obvious what 2009 AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke can do, as well as Gil Meche. The wild-cards are Kyle Davies, Brian Bannister, and Luke Hochevar. All three youngsters have shown flashes of greatness. Unfortunately, they have also shown inconstancy. Along with Greinke the bright spots were first-baseman Billy Butler and shut-down closer Joakim Soria. Scotty Podsednik and Rick Ankiel will look to provide help for Butler as far as offense goes. If the Royals learn how to hit and their young pitchers put it together, they will be the CInderella team this season.
In the last season and a half the Cleveland Indians have traded away C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, Casey Blake, and Ryan Garko. The Tribe still has Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner, but that’s about it.
The Detroit Tigers dumped two of their biggest contributors of the 2009 season. They signed Johnny Damon to replace Curtis Granderson and acquired Max Scherzer to replace Edwin Jackson. Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander will cement themselves a force to be reckoned with as far a 1-2 punches go. Miguel Cabrera will once again put up MVP-type numbers. Magglio Ordonez will bounce back and Jose Valverde will do a great job replacing Fernando Rodney as closer. It will not be enough for the Tigers though.
2. White Sox